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How Do I Become a Clinical Data Manager?

By T. L. Childree
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A clinical data manager is responsible for overseeing the collection, management, and submission of pharmaceutical and biotechnological test results for governmental approval. In order to become a clinical data manager, you will be required to posses a college degree or training certificate in the field of data management. You should have a working knowledge of certain data management software as well as a basic understanding of computer programming. Additionally, you may want to obtain some type of professional certification in this field before you become a clinical data manager.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies need government approval before they can introduce their products to the marketplace. Clinical trials and studies must be conducted, and the data obtained from them must be managed along the way. A clinical data manager is responsible for overseeing the collection, management, and submission of this information in an efficient and timely manner. The manager must also make certain that all governmental regulations are carefully observed during clinical studies and tests. To become a clinical data manager, you must meet certain educational, work experience, and computer skill requirements.

Before you can become a clinical data manager, you must first earn a college degree in the field of data management or information technology. During your education, you will take courses in science, research methods, pharmacology, biology, and ethics. A bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient for entry-level employment although some companies may also require completion of graduate-level studies in computer or life sciences. Most prospective employers will want you to have some practical work experience as well. This work experience can usually be acquired through some type of college-sponsored internship program

In addition to a college degree, it will probably be necessary to possess a working knowledge of data management software. You may also need to have experience with computer programming platforms such as Structured Query Language. In addition, it might be helpful to have experience with the programming platform known as Statistical Analysis System before you become a clinical data manager. Although programming skills are usually not required for employment, they may be of assistance in the performance of your job duties. These computer programming skills could also make you more desirable to prospective employers.

You might also want to obtain a professional certification before you become a clinical data manager. In the U.S., for example, the Society for Clinical Data Management offers professional certification to candidates who meet certain requirements. You must posses a bachelor’s degree and have at least two years of practical work experience in clinical data management to sit for the exam. The Society will also accept an associate’s degree and three years of work experience in place of a bachelor’s degree. If you have at least four years of clinical data management work experience, a college degree is not required to sit for the certification exam.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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